City Lakes Real Estate Blog

“The Dog That Didn’t Bark, Updated”; or, “Getting ‘Norfed” (Gronked? Borked? Grokked?)*

The Warning Detector That Didn’t Beep How do you know that a new technology is a “keeper?” When it’s conspicuous by its absence. Exhibit A:  the warning detector that beeps in my car — but not my wife’s — as the driver backs up. Which explains how, driving her car and backing into a parking...
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“Clinton’s Folly?”

U.S. Garage Sale Corporations that file for bankruptcy typically have their debt discharged — zeroing out their shareholders — and their new equity issued to erstwhile creditors. What’s the equivalent for sovereign nations? Put it this way: what would Alaska fetch on the open market? Seward’s Folly When Secretary of State William Seward orchestrated Alaska’s...
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Election Day 2009

Nov. 3 2009   Ranked Choice Voting: Cure For What Ails Us? There, that wasn’t so hard. I just left my neighborhood polling station, having completed my first-ever “ranked choice” ballot. Also called “instant run-off voting” (“IRV”), ranked choice allows voters to prioritize their preferences for each office to be filled. The math can be...
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Out Of Bounds2

In-bounds or Out? The Standard for Buyers’ Walk-Through Inspection

“Substantially the Condition,” Defined (Sort of) [Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.] “Buyer has the right to a walk-through review of the property prior to closing...
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Nyt

“What You Get For $200,000” Feature in The New York Times: A Minneapolis Condo Near Bde Maka Ska

Minneapolis condos for $200k normally don’t get national exposure — in this case, in The New York Times’ Real Estate section. So, kudos to Edina Realty’s Stephanie Chandler, for scoring the publicity for her listing at 3150 Excelsior Boulevard in Minneapolis, just west of Bde Maka Ska (formerly “Lake Calhoun”). The two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo is actually listed...
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Upper Level 300x225 1

Paying Attention to What the Listing DOESN’T Say

MLS: “3rd Bedroom on Upper Level is Large & Has Lots of Storage” There’s certainly nothing wrong with an Upper Level Bedroom (pictured above) that’s large and has lots of storage. But, what’s notable — at least to me — is what’s omitted. Errors of (C)omission Namely, any mention of a Bathroom, or whether the...
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Best

Who Are Minneapolis’ Best Real Estate Agents?

What, (Almost) No Female Realtors?? [Note to readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.] Can an NFL franchise be a perennial Super Bowl winner, and yet not have any superstars?...
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Mirror

Taking Would-Be Sellers on a Tour of Competing Homes? Bad Idea

When Subjectivity Isn’t Just Superficial If the Comp’s aren’t convincing enough, Realtor “Jane Doe” will take Sellers on tours of comparable properties. “They can see this other house is in much better condition, and it’s priced $20,000 less than theirs. It’s eye-opening.” –Spokane agent, sharing her strategy for working with unrealistic Sellers in “Setting Them Straight”; Realtor Magazine. ...
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Cabin

Cabin Conspiracy: “Getting Away to the Lake for the Weekend”

Stretch of +90º Temps in the Twin Cities? Time to Head (Even Further) North This will no doubt come as sacrilege to many Minnesotans — and isn’t going to endear me to my colleagues who specialize in selling 2nd homes up north — but here goes: my theory about why so many of my fellow...
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Google Flights

Never Mind “Google Flights” — Where’s “Google Rental Car??”

Post-Pandemic Travel Planning: Tracking Rental Car Prices In response to seemingly real-time (“dynamic”) pricing by the airlines the last few years, I now routinely shop for flights using tracking software. I’m sure there are others, but Google Flights lets you set up multiple searches for upcoming travel destinations and dates, then notifies you when there...
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